Moreover, Mr. Pandit seems uncomfortable as the leader of one of the nation’s biggest banks. He shuns most interviews, and he is prone to overreact to criticism no matter the source, be it The Wall Street Journal or a minor blog. Reports suggest Mr. Pandit is behind Mr. Mayo’s ban, a charge Citigroup denies. [WSJ]
If You Make A Smart-Aleck Comment About Vikram Pandit, Does He Not Apply Lipstick And Add Your Name To His ‘To Kill List’?By Bess Levin
Mark Zaino, a former UBS trader who worked on the firm’s derivatives and municipal securities desk, pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges today in the wide-ranging investigation into sham auctions and bid rigging in financial products sold to municipalities.
Zaino is the first banker to plead guilty to charges and he has agreed to cooperate with investigators. Another banker at Bank of America, who participated in the massive bid-rigging scheme, is also providing information to the Feds about the scam. Read more »
If you thought the SEC’s charges against Goldman Sachs poured fuel on an already-raging populace fire, Wall Street’s involvement in a massive bid rigging scandal in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market will fan the flames even more.
Earlier this month, we heard about an SEC investigation of conflicts of interest at big banks that bought credit default swaps on muni bonds they sold to state and local governments. But Bloomberg is out with a big investigative piece today about a massive bid-rigging scandal in the muni market that, if true, bilked 160 state agencies, local governments and non-profits out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Read more »
Have you often wondered to yourself, does Citi’s favorite investor max and relax (indoor) poolside after a long day of riding Vikram’s ass like Zorro? Does said indoor pool have a jungle theme going on around it that includes life size ceramic elephants, antelopes and giraffes? Would the Prince’s style be best described as late eighties chic? Yes, yeah and hell fuck yeah. Read more »
According to Charlie Gasparino, whose sources tell him VP’s job is safe, whether or not the bank starts earning $20 billion a year (as has been predicted by Count Vik). This is phenomenal news for us Vikula fans, and will no doubt thrill the CEO, who said just this morning that he’s trying his hardest to save the place, lest he come back in the next life as one of Meredith Whitney’s nipple clamps.
“People fail to understand that Citigroup doesn’t exist anymore,” said Bove. By unloading most of the properties acquired under Weill, the architect of the conglomerate, Citi will look like it did “30 years ago, when it was a fairly successful company.”
Abu Dhabi’s isn’t the only government that doesn’t want to take a huge bath on its Citigroup investment. But fortunately for Little Tim Geithner and the Treasury Boys, they don’t have to go to court to keep that from happening. They just have to hold their breath (and their 34% stake in Citi).
Seems the Treasury forgot that when a company has to flood the market with more shares in order to repay its gigantic TARP loan, the value of everyone’s shares goes down. A lot. Including those of the people who made the gigantic TARP loan.
Not hungry anywayDozens of prominent Indian-Americans were among the 338 guests at President Barack Obama’s first state dinner, in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. One was notable by his absence: Vikram Pandit.
To be sure, it is possible that the Great Pandito was invited to last night’s black-tie bash, and was simply unable to attend. There may have been hiring binges to attend to, failing businesses to rename or top business lines to sell to appease certain pay czars (also not at the state dinner).
On the other hand, maybe the White House thinks Vikram has eaten at taxpayer expense quite enough over the past year. Maybe Barack didn’t want the stench of failure hanging over his first state dinner. Maybe Tim Geithner (at the dinner) insisted on a big, fat bailout repayment check before Vik could be seated. Whatever the reason, Nagpur’s favorite son seems unlikely to have rated an invite.
Just when you think there is a limit to laughable bullish calls, Dick Bove wakes up on a Friday and says Citi, “the only truly international bank in the world”, is a buy. Among Bove’s reasons for putting your $3 and change to work in Citi is Sheila Bair’s favorite, that Citi is “too big to fail”, and its earnings.
Citigroup’s normalized earnings estimate makes the bank attractive, Bove said. Though it will take time to return to the core business, Citi will have that time, he said, explaining why he is positive on the company’s outlook.
Citigroup is a Buy: Bove [CNBC]
The demand for risk must really be back. Citigroup was able to sell $1 billion in notes today without the FDIC guarantee. A nice victory for Team Vik.
Citigroup Sells $1 Billion of Notes Without U.S. Guarantee [Bloomberg]